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Fish Anna Maria Island With A Local Charter Fishing Guide

Anna Maria Island Snapper Fishing – February 2019

Anna Maria Island Snapper Fishing – February 2019

—It’s unusual to have a beautiful, calm day in February with no obligations so I decided to take advantage of the situation and try to find some big mangrove snapper in the Gulf. I called my Dad and we ran out about 20 miles to an area consisting of several small ledges within a couple hundred yards of each other. We had been very successful in this area last spring with large snapper and I hoped we could have a repeat performance.

Mangrove Snapper

Big Mangrove Snapper

—As we eased up to the first ledge with my Minn Kota trolling motor, the fish finder’s screen was showing fish from the surface to the bottom. Although that sounds good, it usually means smaller fish in the water column that won’t allow your bait to get to the bottom where the bigger fish lurk. That was the case as we caught small vermillion snapper on our first dozen or so drops. Fun but not what we were looking for so we decided to move on. Because of the new gps trolling motors’ ability to hold our position, we had not anchored and had burned only about 15 minutes at that stop.

Gag Grouper

Nice Gag Grouper

—At our next stop, the fish finder screen presented a very nice show of fish near the bottom, apparently hovering just above the 5 foot drop of the ledge. BINGO! We knew from past experience that this was what we wanted to see. We used some live shrimp and some frozen shiners as bait and used two different rigs to catch them. One rig was a 3/8 ounce jighead attached to 20 pound fluorocarbon leader and the other was a 3/4 ounce egg sinker sliding freely just above a 2/0 circle hook, commonly known as a “knocker rig”. Both rigs worked well and as the morning progressed, we ended up getting our limit of big mangrove snapper and some very nice gag grouper from this one spot.

snapper fishing

Snapper fishing at it’s best

Mangrove Snapper

Grey Snapper Offshore